Members Stand Up for Their Rights...

Check Your Check

Liquor/Wine Manager Nora Bush from the Sequim Safeway noticed that her Sunday pay was incorrect on her paycheck. It was half the amount it should be on Sundays. She works every Sunday and realized this error dated back 14 months. With the help of her Rep, Nora took all her pay stubs to her store manager. The issue was sent to corporate and Nora received $1,200 in back pay.

Don’t Waive Your Breaks

If you waive your meal and rest breaks, employers will continue to under-staff and many times you are working without pay during that time. Hundreds of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett RNs filled out missed meals/break period forms and turned them into Labor and Industries. Working together collectively the Nurses at PRMCE tracked their missed breaks and are on their way to winning their case, getting reimbursed for the missed breaks and changing their workplace. Contact your union Rep if missed breaks is a problem in your workplace.

All Working Hours ARE Equal

Terri Gorman is currently working in the Deli department at the Bremerton Safeway. She has worked at her store for 9 years accumulating over 11,000 hours. Safeway kept her at $10/hr because they said she had been jumping departments, and her accumulated hours started over each time she changed departments. With the amount of hours she had worked in the store she should be at the Journey rate of pay. Terri went to her union Rep about the new language in the grocery contract that says all hours are equal. Thanks to the new contract and Terri knowing her rights she is now at $15/hr and received $2,500 in retro pay.

Bully Boss Exposed

left to right:  Amanda Tapfield, Linda Johnson, Danielle Wolfe, and Doris Kimball

left to right:  Amanda Tapfield, Linda Johnson, Danielle Wolfe, and Doris Kimball

At Planned Parenthood Contact Center in Tacoma, 20 members have been working for over a year in a hostile work environment due to a bully boss. When their numerous complaints were ignored, they took collective action. With the help of the union, they created a petition with a “Vote of No Confidence” and marched on their boss. Because of the collective action, their voices were heard and an investigation was launched. Management agreed to meet with members to discuss the findings of the investigation and solutions to the problem.

Standing Up for Disabilities

A Courtesy Clerk at the Issaquah Fred Meyer was approached by his manager, in front of customers, to talk about his job performance. He felt ambushed. With his mental disability, he needs support in confrontational situations. His co-worker confidant, was not working that day so he had to leave to seek support. Fred Meyer never called to see what happened, they just told him that he was terminated when he returned to work. When his Steward Mary Stoddard heard her co-worker got fired for an issue relating to his disability, she took action. Mary worked together with the union and got her co-worker his job back. Outstanding Stewards like Mary Stoddard let us know we are not alone in times of trouble.

Seniority Travels

Scott Eddy worked for The Markets and was laid off after the store closed. He remained unemployed for 22 months. When applying at Safeway, Scott informed them that he had been at Journey rate for The Markets. He was hired at Safeway starting at minimum wage. Our Skagit Grocery contract gives Safeway the option to bring in our members at 2 steps below Journey rate if they have been out of the unit for 0-2 years, but not at minimum wage. Because Scott knew his rights under the contract and informed the union we were able to correct Scott’s wages.  

Members Stand Up for Their Rights

United For Quality Care

When UFCW 21 health care members at Providence Everett joined together with OPEIU Local 8 members at the hospital on a common petition to Management for improved contracts and working conditions, they found greater strength than if either had acted alone. That is the story we know to be true and we need to repeat time and again. Taking action together works. This helped both groups of workers from two unions win improved contracts. 

Taking a Break is Good for Everyone

For health care workers breaks are not only an issue for our own health and safety but for all of our patients and co-workers too. In many hospitals and clinics people work through breaks and/or get disciplined if they report missing one. For two years our members at Capital Medical Center have taken action together and documented problems, pushing a grievance and recently winning new contract language for taking breaks and documenting missed breaks. The new language secures all employees’ right to take a paid 15 minute break for each four hours of working time and requires employees to record any missed meal/rest periods without any retaliation. Way to go Capital Medical Center members!

Another Job Saved by Strong Contract & Action

People believing something is not enough. People need to take action in order to resist and push back against fear and hatred…When we commit to action, we move our workplaces and communities away from fear and intolerance and toward economic, political and social justice.

Renee Gebre is a cashier at Safeway (1845 Greenwood). Every day grocery store checkers process WIC checks (a federal program to help moms with lower income get better nutrition for their kids). One day Renee made a mistake when processing a WIC check and was suspended. Our agreement with Safeway is that there must be two written warnings before a suspension for this type of violation. After contacting the employer’s labor relations, the suspension was reduced to a written warning and Ms. Gebre was paid for the hours of work she missed for her suspension. 

Steward Trainings Keep Growing our Union

Eight members from PCC, led by Deli worker Atsuko Koseki (second from right) were recently trained up to be Stewards. Though PCC workers negotiate their contract independently, when they heard that the vast majority of UFCW 21 grocery store workers were soon to be going into their own contract negotiations, these PCC workers wanted to be trained up as Stewards and help as much as possible for everyone to achieve better wages, benefits and working conditions. Great work Atsuko and all the other PCC Stewards who went through the training pictured here.